Deb asked...Though this has been touched on before, I want to say that I'm very disturbed that you didn't have a way to get taken seriously if you were to say "I feel uncomfortable with this man and with courtship at this time of my life. I would like to wait until I'm older and to find a man with whom I feel more personally compatible. This feeling is only getting stronger as I get to know Adam better."
Given your JOY training, did you have the words to express a sentiment like that? Would this have been treated as disrespect to your parents and/or God?
At first, I didn't. I spent most of that year of uncomfortable phone calls and forced meetings willing myself silent because I didn't want it to be even remotely possible that this was happening. I had been told most of my life that my parents would give me "guidance" and "help me discern" who the right boy was - so when it was actually happening, I kept thinking (and I know this sounds crazy) that God hadn't revealed him to me as a suitor, so my parents couldn't possibly think him to be a suitor. I was stupid and naive. I figured that by being silent, my feelings would be known.
After the "announcement", I was silent through the dinner and then I spent two days arguing with my parents. Although what you all might think of as "arguing" isn't likely what happened. I shut down that night and all of these thoughts started racing through my head. As soon as Adam's family left, I started questioning what had just happened and asking what it all meant. I told my dad that I hadn't heard from the Lord on this matter. I told him that Adam couldn't be the one God had for me because I had received no insight or message and I hadn't even prayed for Adam specifically in any fashion. Dad reminded me that I'd been instructed to pray for my future husband since I could pray and I argued that this wasn't the guy I pictured in my prayers. Dad said, and I will never forget these words, 'then perhaps you were praying with Satan in your heart and not God and your father's will on your heart?"
I went to the next group meeting in such a foul mood that it was suggested I be sent away. I won't say where but I'm sure most of you can guess. Luckily, my older brother intervened and said I just needed more time. He found the words I didn't have. I ended up promising to pray about Adam but I knew I wouldn't marry him. What I didn't know was how I was going to avoid it. The clock was ticking until my eighteenth birthday. I knew he'd propose six months before that.